Essential Component 3
There is access to care providers across all settings who are skilled and competent

All care professionals everywhere have a role in providing care to people approaching and reaching the end of their lives, their carers and families

Why is this an Essential Component?

Evidence for inclusion

'Many health care professionals, families, carers and volunteers are involved in providing care to people who need end of life and palliative care.' (NSW Ministry of Health, 2019)[1]

Equitable access to healthcare including end of life and palliative care is fundamental to health and human dignity and is a basic human right.

Care providers across all settings can play a key role to improve outcomes and experiences for people approaching the end of life, their families and carers ( NSW Ministry of Health, 2012)[2]. To do this health professionals need to be engaged and supported to undertake continuing professional development, access to appropriate education, development opportunities and to have appropriate supervision (Palliative Care Australia, 2018)[3].

Intended beneficial outcomes

  • Patients and families have access to care in a setting appropriate to their needs, as close to home as possible and where safe to do so.
  • Care providers understand the unique contribution they make to the care of people who may be approaching or reaching the end of life, and are supported to fulfil that potential.
  • Care providers have access to the resources and supports required to achieve high quality outcomes.
  • Care providers are supported through the development and dissemination of clinical practice guidelines and pathways.
  • Specialist palliative care providers are structured and resourced to support other services caring for people approaching and reaching the end of life.
  • There is access to culturally and clinically safe end of life and palliative care for all people in NSW.
  • Skills in caring for people approaching and reaching the end of life are core competencies for all health, aged and community care workers.
  • There is support and resourcing for the development of new collaboration initiatives.
  • Non-beneficial or burdensome care is minimised.
  • Technologies and creative care models are developed and used to improve access to people across care environments where traditional care models provide limited access.
All care professionals everywhere have a role in providing care to people approaching and reaching the end of their lives, their carers and families

What tools/resources could support the implementation of this component?

The Agency for Clinical Innovation commissioned CareSearch (Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University) to identify local, national and international tools or resources that can potentially be used to implement each of the ten (10) Essential Components of Care within the Blueprint.

To be included, tools and resources were required to be in English, be applicable to the Australian context and be supported by evidence (such as published validation studies, clinical guidelines representing expert consensus, or advice from expert clinicians who were consulted).

The set of tools and resources provided is not intended to be exhaustive, nor is any one tool specifically recommended.

About the review process

Core palliative care tools

Management of Subcutaneous Infusions in Palliative Care

Australian guidelines informing clinician practice, policy development and procedures and education in subcutaneous infusion device management.

Core resources

Centre for Palliative Care

The Centre for Palliative Care is part of St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and is a Collaborative Centre of The University of Melbourne, Australia and has roles in the development and implementation of training and education programs for health professionals from a variety of disciplines, while undertaking cutting-edge research to set benchmarks and improve practices in palliative care

Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education

The Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education (CPCRE) was established by Queensland Health in 2001 to enhance palliative care services in Queensland through education and research

Competency Standards for specialist palliative care nursing practice

Queensland University of Technology developed competency standards for specialist palliative care nursing practice.

End of Life Palliative Education Resource Centre (EPERC Fast Facts)

Fast Facts are designed to be easily accessible and clinically relevant monographs on palliative care topics. They are intended to be quick teaching tools for bedside rounds, as well as self-study material for health care professional trainees and clinicians who work with patients with life-limiting illnesses.

Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Candidate - Clinical Competencies (2011)

Provide guidance to Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Candidates and their services about how clinical competence in palliative care may be identified and assessed in the workplace. Builds on the 2004 Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council National Competency Standards for the Nurse Practitioner.

Policies and Tools for Hospital Palliative Care Programs (US)

Website of the American Centre to Advance Palliative Care - advocacy group providing clinical training materials and community information resources.

Registration or payment for information

Additional tools for specific populations

Geriatric Fast Facts

Geriatric Fast Facts are accessible, concise, and clinically actionable 1-2 page reports on Geriatric topics applicable across medical specialties. Fast Facts are interdisciplinary, spanning the progression of medical education.

Quality Palliative Care in Long-Term Care: Self-Assessment Checklist

The checklist was developed to assess whether key structural, process, and outcome components are present in a given long-term care facility. This checklist can be used in conjunction with the Model for Quality Palliative Care in Long-Term Care to assist agencies to perform self-audits to monitor progress toward best practice in providing quality palliative care in long-term care facilities.

Clinical assessment tools

Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults

A list of potentially inappropriate medications in terms of their use within elderly patient populations.

Cancer pain management in adults

Cancer Council Australia guidelines for health professionals working with cancer patients. Intended to supplement (not replace) clinical judgment and provide short, point-of-care recommendations for screening, assessment and management of cancer related pain.


Australian decision support guidelines for clinicians working with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


  1. NSW Ministry of Health. NSW Health End of Life and Palliative Care Framework 2019-2024. Sydney: NSW Ministry of Health; 2019.
  2. NSW Ministry of Health. The NSW Government plan to increase access to palliative care 2012-2016. Sydney: NSW Ministry of Health; 2012.
  3. Palliative Care Australia. National Palliative Care Standards (5th edition). Canberra: Palliative Care Australia; 2018.

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